July 2009


Read something just now that hit me square between the eyes:  our economy is a relic of the 17th century.  We’re trying to deal with 21st century problems with an economic system (capitalism) whose basic principles and mechanisms were designed in the 1600’s. 

This is one of those facts I’ve always known, but some how it took someone else to point out the absurdity of this.

The best thing about newspapers on-line is the comments section. Every local and regional newspaper has its on-line presence and most provide on-line readers with the opportunity to post their reactions to news articles. One learns more about the hearts and minds of Americans from reading these comments than one can possibly learn from a Gallop or Harris poll.

One comment that I see frequently, on any post that has anything to do with American politics, is some one from the right decrying the Obama administrations efforts on the economy, health care or the environment and offering the dire warning that if we are not careful we’ll end up just like Europe.

Which leaves me to scratch my head and say — exactly so, and good for us if we do!

Some smarty pants out there is likely to respond with a “if you love Europe so much why don’t you just go live there?” Because I was born here; this is my home, and I just want it to be as good a home, as comfortable a home, as safe a home, as other industrialized countries. Besides which, outside of England, they don’t speak English and being a product of American schools I don’t speak any thing but English.

Every time I see this comment I wonder, exactly what is it that these folks think is so awful about Europe?  What is the source of their images of Europe? What do they think they know that I don’t know?

Is it just me, or does the news coverage of Michael Jackson’s death remind any one else of the classic Saturday Night Live News bit from its very first season during which Chevy Chase gravely intoned “and Francisco Franco is still dead”?

Michael Jackson was an enormous musical talent, and a very troubled individual. The American music scene is diminished by his loss, as is his family, especially his children. But, what is happening with the cable news networks is ridiculous — until Sarah Palin had the good grace to resign and Kim Jong Il blessed us with some missiles, it was impossible to find any news about anything other than Michael Jackson for an entire week.

I mean no disrespect to Mr. Jackson or his family or even to his millions of fans. I’m just floored that every time I turned on cable news for an entire week, the only story I could find concerned Michael Jackson’s death. Where is my hour of political sanity with Rachel Maddow?